Edward James Olmos

Who Mentored Edward James Olmos?

Interview  Watch the video of Edward James Olmos.

Watch a public service announcement featuring Edward James Olmos in support of National Mentoring Month.


Edward James Olmos was an award-winning actor, producer, director, and activist. He used his celebrity status to promote diversity through his speeches, numerous humanitarian efforts, and his roles as the U.S. Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and executive director of the Lives In Hazard Educational Project, a national gang prevention program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.


I was very fortunate. I was raised by my great-grandfather and my great-grandmother. And great-grandparents are exactly that: great, grand parents. And I must tell you, that was probably the single most important aspect of my life…When you’re one, two, three, four years old, and you’re around great-grandparents, it’s unbelievable. Those were the strongest moments I had. He passed away at the age of 87, my great-grandfather. I was approximately six years old, and I had lived six years with him and my great-grandmother, and they were very influential in my life. And, to this day, I still remember almost all that I possibly can of what they shared with me.

I was lucky that I had coaches when I played baseball, when I was 7 years old, that were tremendous mentors. They taught me discipline, determination, perseverance, patience–key ingredients that I still use today.

My closest friend I consider to be probably my strongest mentor. He’s a person that now is of the age of about 77 years old. I’m 55. I’m still being mentored by him. It’s an ongoing process–it never stops. Wisdom is a great way to understand your life. The elder has the wisdom, the youth have the hope.